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SRQ DAILY Sep 10, 2021

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"I hope they leave with a desire to understand other people on their journeys."

- Luke McFatrich, Dingbat Theatre Project

[Performance]  Last Chance To See: Dingbats Do Hedwig
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

With a stage dominating one side of the room and the walls plastered with fashion adverts, glam rock icons and countless Playboy centerfolds, the Dingbat Theatre Project has transformed what will soon be a family-friendly dining space in the Bazaar on Apricot & Lime into the setting for its latest off-the-wall production, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. And though the production now nears the end of a successful sold-out run, with the final two performances taking place tonight and tomorrow night, there were moments of trepidation and doubt on the road to opening night, says Dingbat Theatre Project Founder Luke Manual McFatrich.

And not just about the Playboys.

An R-rated rock musical about everything from sex and soulmates to rock bands, romantic ruin, the Cold War and botched gender reassignment surgery, Hedwig brings the audience front-and-center for one hilarious and unhinged night in the life of the titular genderqueer rocker as she tours in the shadow of an ex-lover. And for McFatrich, who also plays Hedwig, it surprisingly set the stage for his own journey of self-acceptance as well.

In many ways, the role of Hedwig presents something of an actor’s dream, with opportunity to flex one’s acting muscles as Hedwig adopts different personas and accents throughout the show, bringing characters from her past to life for the audience. “It’s really scary,” McFatrich says. “But I enjoy it. It quickly became a fun puzzle to figure out.” And working with director Brian F. Finnerty, McFatrich had no doubts that the puzzle could be solved.

But there was one lingering doubt.

At the show’s conclusion, Hedwig typically bares a little skin, going shirtless, at least. And for this reason, McFatrich says, the actor portraying Hedwig is typically of the well-muscled variety. McFatrich, however, is not. “So there were some insecurities,” he says, “about having to end the show in a vulnerable situation like that.” He and Finnerty went back and forth on the issue, eventually deciding that the ending was too important to change. In the end, the audience agreed, and McFatrich found people approaching him after the show to tell him how powerful they found the finale—especially with that added bit of body positivity. “I’m really proud of that,” he says.

Because under all the Playboy and punk rock, the showmanship and the shock factor, there’s an earnest heart to Hedwig, and McFatrich wants to lay that bare for all the audience to see as well.

“I hope they leave with a desire to understand other people on their journeys,” he says. “I hope they see Hedwig’s journey of self-acceptance and can translate it to their own lives.”

Then, after a pause.

“And I hope they leave with a smile on their face.”

The Dingbat Theatre Company’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch concludes its run this weekend, with the final shows tonight and tomorrow night. Visit the website below for tickets. 

Pictured: Luke Manual McFatrich as Hedwig in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch.' Photo by Goddess Imagery Studios/Jamie Lee Butrum.

Dingbat Theatre Project

[Visual Arts]  With Fall Season Approaching, The Hermitage is Ready for Anything
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

As an artists’ retreat less dependent on box office revenue for its operations than other arts organizations, The Hermitage had no problem pivoting last year as performance art organizations struggled. A year later, after lost seasons and their accompanying existential crises, the organization based on the sandy white beach of Manasota Key prepares for another season in which flexibility sits front and center.

“We were already looking at expanding our programming last year before COVID-19,” says artistic director and CEO Andy Sandberg, “we just weren’t as focused on being outside.” For Sandberg, channeling the retreat’s energy into outdoor programming proved fruitful across the board. It forced more productive conversations with other arts organizations about collaborations, helped the retreat get a handle on large-scale streaming events and, perhaps most importantly, introduced many new faces to an organization that for years seemed to exist outside of the county’s arts radar. “As people came to our events at Selby or our Zoom events with Unscripted, suddenly they decided it wasn’t that far to drive down to The Hermitage for one of our outdoor events,” says Sandberg.

Now, over a year after the initial shutdown and with the Delta variant circulating, Sandberg still has a lot to be optimistic about. “I think we learned last year that people felt really comfortable being outside and socially distanced,” he says, “and we only had to cancel one show last year due to the weather.” The Hermitage’s audience also became accustomed to maintaining flexibility with outdoor events, readily accepting the current operating model in which The Hermitage makes a final determination on an event only three hours before it begins.  

Of course, it helps that the retreat does not have to uphold the high production standards of a live theatre, with costumes, set designs and lighting. “The works we present aren’t finished,” says Sandberg, “so we’re not advertising production value, we’re advertising authenticity.” 

For the coming season, Sandberg hopes to carry the unforeseen momentum of the last year into more programming. “We’re just trying to continue building relationships with other organizations,” he says, “and we’re in talks with The Bay, Booker High School and MOTE Marine about ways we can all collaborate.” The upcoming season will also give Sarasota a look at the national curatorial team responsible for making selections on who receives Hermitage awards and grants. In addition, next year marks the first cycle of the Major Theatre Award, which awards $35,000 and a Hermitage residency to a playwright with the goal of producing a brand-new work. 

“Last year we weren’t even sure what to do about touching an Amazon delivery,” says Sandberg, “and now coughing inside a theatre is like yelling ‘fire.’ We’re still facing a lot of challenges in the arts, the difference is that The Hermitage, the artists and our audience have all kind of figured out how to navigate it all.” 

Photo courtesy of The Hermitage

[Season Opening]  Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival Kicks Off Key Chorale's Season

Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, kicks off their season September 25 and 26 with “Shout Glory! A Gospel Revival.” Key Chorale is back to celebrate togetherness through the powerful legacy of African American spirituals and Gospel music in a feel-good concert. Joined by the energetic pulse of The Stephen Lynerd Group and Jamal Sarikoki on the Hammond B-3 organ, this opening concert is full of upbeat, joyful music sure to raise the roof.

Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins, says, “After 19 months of online concerts and virtual choirs, we are so ready to experience that synergy again between our musicians and our audiences. I know this will be an overwhelming experience for all of us and we know it will be a celebration. That is why we chose to focus on music that truly uplifts, gets our toes tapping, our hands clapping, and puts a smile on our face. I know years from now, we will look back at these concerts and remember how powerful it was to be back in the concert hall once again and to share the experience with our community.”

Tickets are available on keychorale.org or by calling the Box Office at 941-552-8768. 

[New Partnership]  The Ringling and Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition Announce New Collaboration

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition (SAACC). The Ringling will be providing guidance and expertise in assisting the SAACC with storage of a recent gift from Michael Berger. Berger, who splits his time between Sarasota and Pittsburgh, recently acquired and donated Five Florida “Highwaymen” paintings and pieces by Sam Gilliam and Radcliffe Bailey. These pieces will assist to build the collection of the SAACC’s upcoming art center and history museum that celebrates black life, art, history, heritage and culture. The SAACC is currently fundraising to construct the new building. “I've followed the progress of SAACC to open a facility that illuminates the work of African American artists," Michael Berger said. "We're thankful to The Ringling and Steven High for storing these important works of art until SAACC's permanent center and museum opens." 

"A new cultural asset, the Sarasota African American Art Center and History Museum will offer culturally immersive experiences that include exhibitions, classes, demonstrations, panel discussions, outdoor festivals and performances” said SAACC Executive Director, Vickie Oldham. "Our success greatly depends on forming partnerships with long standing institutions such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum. The offer to store artwork donated to SAACC by a collector is greatly appreciated. We're anxious to jointly present programs with the museum that celebrate and explore issues of race, identity, class, social justice, history and culture through"

The SAACC has partnerships with 35 arts and cultural institutions and organizations and is dedicated to preserving, celebrating and sharing the cultural, artistic, and historical heritage of African Americans in Sarasota and beyond. 

[Community]  University Town Center Event to Honor 20th Anniversary of 9/11

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of car enthusiasts and community members will come together Saturday morning at Sarasota Cars and Coffee at UTC to pay tribute to first responders and remember the victims of that tragic day in American history. 

Powered by Suncoast Motorsports, Sarasota Cars and Coffee at UTC is a monthly gathering of exotic, sports, and classic car owners and enthusiasts. This month’s event will benefit the Sarasota Fire Fighter's Benevolent Fund and feature fabulous cars, fire trucks, the Mission BBQ army truck and a special 9/11 memorial ceremony. Starting at 8:46 am – the exact time the first tower was struck – there will be a moment of silence, followed by the presentation of colors by the Sarasota Military Academy Prep Color Guard and national anthem performed by Shantel Norman.

 Saturday, September 11, from 8:00 am – 10:00 am (Memorial ceremony begins at 8:45 am) at West District at UTC (near the Ford’s Garage parking lot, 295 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota). The event is free and open to the public; $10 suggested donation for show cars to benefit Sarasota Fire Fighter's Benevolent Fund.  

[Grant]  The Sarasota Ballet Receives Arts Appreciation Grant

The Sarasota Ballet announced the award of an Arts Appreciation grant by Gulf Coast Community Foundation in support of the Company’s 2021 – 2022 Season and Director Iain Webb’s 15th Anniversary Season. This year’s ballet programming includes the World Premiere of choreographer Sir David Bintley’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s iconic work, A Comedy of Errors, along with a World Premiere by Resident Choreographer Ricardo Graziano, the Company Premiere of Mark Morris’ The Letter V, and treasured ballet classics and favorites from the Company’s extraordinary repertoire.

“We deeply appreciate the tremendous support provided by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation,” says Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet. “This Season is particularly special to me for two main reasons – firstly, it will see our return to the theater for in-person performances; and secondly, it marks my 15th Season with the Company.” Webb continues, “It is because of the support we receive from organizations like the Gulf Coast Community Foundation that the arts in Sarasota has managed to survive the pandemic. Through their funding, we can continue to bring world-class artistry to the community, impact hundreds of students, and reach out to thousands of individuals across the spectrum of our society.” 

[Agriculture]  Ag Museum and Palmetto Historical Park Celebrate Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day

Saturday, September 18th is Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, an annual celebration of boundless curiosity. The Manatee County Agricultural (Ag) Museum and Palmetto Historical Park will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, entry is free. At the Ag Museum, a red barn craft is available to create on site or bring home and a Curiosity Scavenger Hunt is an in-house activity which will enter participants into a prize drawing. At Palmetto Historical Park a tour of the buildings will take place at 2:00 pm.  Guests are invited to take a Museum Day Activity Pack which includes a BINGO game, puzzle, and other pastimes. Each person who completes the BINGO game and turns it back in will be entered into a prize drawing.  Prize winners will be notified the following week.  While on the grounds, visitors may also enjoy the Sensory Garden and the Little Free Library. The Museum and Park are located at 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto. 

[Testing]  La Primavera Supermarket to Host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Saturday

La Primavera Supermarket will host a first- and second-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, Sept. 11, in partnership with the Department of Health-Sarasota County, the City of Sarasota and The Mallard Law Firm. 

The walk-up clinic will be held from 11 am to 3 pm September 11 at La Primavera, 901 N Washington Blvd., Sarasota. Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available to individuals age 12 and older who received their first dose at La Primevera’s clinic on Aug. 21. First doses of the vaccine will also be available. No appointments are necessary. Bilingual Spanish speakers will be on site to help coordinate the event.

“We’ve had success with these smaller events in teaming with community partners, and we’re hoping for the same great turnout on Saturday for folks to get first and second doses of the vaccine,” Mayor Hagen Brody said. “Partnering with credible community institutions like La Primavera has proven helpful in overcoming hesitancy issues for some who are now making a wise and informed decision to get vaccinated.”

For questions and more information about the vaccine clinic, contact La Primavera Supermarket at 941-366-5321. 

[SRQ Competition]  Nominate Someone You Know for Our Good Hero Award!

SRQ MEDIA is currently accepting nominations for our annual Good Hero Philantrhopic Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact with local nonprofits. The deadline to nominate someone was just extended to Friday, October 1st! 

Click here to nominate someone! 

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Waste Land , September 10, 6:30pm

Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit. This On Screen will show on September 10 at 6:30pm.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: FST Improv: Comedy Lottery , September 11 – September 25, 7:30pm

It’s the lottery where everyone wins! Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team of highly-adaptable improvisers by selecting the night’s lineup from FST’s bucket of over 50 different improv games. Once the night’s games are chosen, our cast of funny people will be off to the races, spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. What will they come up with next? We have absolutely no idea. But one thing is for sure: every Saturday night at 7:30pm through September 25, their destiny is in your hands.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: Opera Film: Ariadne auf Naxos , September 12, 1:30pm

The proven Richard Strauss trio of Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch and Christian Thielemann gets together once again on September 12 at 1:30pm at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, which continues its series of triumphs after Rosenkavalier. In this colorful and humorous staging by Philippe Arlaud, Strauss specialist Thielemann leads his first opera at the head of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, which performed the world premieres of nine Strauss operas. While Renée Fleming dazzles in her role debut as the spurned Ariadne, Sophie Koch, Robert Dean Smith and Jane Archibald prove themselves worthy counterparts of the American soprano. Conductor: Christian Thielemann, Director: Philippe Arlaud, Cast: Renée Fleming | Robert Dean Smith | Jane Archibald | Sophie Koch | Eike Wilm Schulte | René Kollo. Opera in a prologue and one act, Total running time: 136 mins. Sung in German.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: The City of Sarasota: Public Input Meetings for Penny Sales Tax , September 15 – October 6, 6pm-7pm

The City of Sarasota will host three community meetings to welcome input on infrastructure projects for the continuation of the countywide Penny Sales Tax. Residents are invited to suggest infrastructure projects during the following public listening sessions: Wednesday, Sept. 15 6pm– 7:30pm at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Thursday, Sept. 16, 6pm – 7:30pm at Arlington Park & Aquatic Complex, 2650 Waldemere St., and Wednesday, Oct. 6 6pm – 7:30pm at City Hall Annex – SRQ Media Studio, 1565 First St. Input also can be provided online at www.SarasotaCountySurtax.net. The Sarasota County Penny Sales Tax, also known as the sales surtax, surtax, or one cent tax, is a countywide voter approved one percent sales tax used to invest in local infrastructure improvements, including parks, libraries, schools, sidewalks, police vehicles, street resurfacing and mobility upgrades. Sarasota County voters approved the Penny Sales Tax in 1989 and again in 1997 and 2007. The current surtax expires at the end of 2024. Voters throughout Sarasota County will have an opportunity in November 2022 to continue the Penny Sales Tax for another 15 years to fund local infrastructure projects.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Michael Murphy Gallery: Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection , September 16 – September 26, 1pm-3pm and 7pm-9pm

Michael Murphy Gallery, Tampa’s premier fine art gallery, is proud to announce its presentation of Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection. The collection will be on exhibition and available for acquisition at the gallery beginning September 16, 2021. The exhibition is a rare opportunity to meet Madame Christine Argillet, daughter of Dali's legendary publisher and confidante Pierre Argillet, during scheduled special appearances by Madame Argillet for the public: Saturday, September 25 from 1pm–3pm and 7pm–9pm as well as Sunday, September 26 from 1pm–3pm. All appearances are complimentary to the public. For additional information about this exhibition, contact the gallery via phone: 813.902.1414 or info@michaelmurphygallery.com. RSVPs are strongly recommended HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/salvador-dali-the-argillet-collection-tickets-165960505339.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Stromboli , September 16, 1pm

The first collaboration between Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman is a devastating portrait of a woman’s existential crisis, set against the beautiful and forbidding backdrop of a volcanic island. After World War II, a Lithuanian refugee (Bergman) marries a simple Italian fisherman (Mario Vitale) she meets in a prisoner of war camp and accompanies him back to his isolated village on an island off the coast of Sicily. Cut off from the world, she finds herself crumbling emotionally, but she is destined for a dramatic epiphany. Balancing the director’s trademark neorealism—exemplified here in a remarkable depiction of the fishermen’s lives and work—with deeply felt melodrama, Stromboli is a revelation. This On Screen will show on September 16 at 1pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  FILM: The Ringling: On Screen: Casablanca , September 17, 6:30pm

Academy Award winners Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman light up the screen in one of the most enduring romances in movie history: Casablanca. Rick Blaine (Bogart--The African Queen, The Caine Mutiny) owns a nightclub in Vichy-controlled Casablanca, frequented by refugees desperate to escape German domination. Despite the ever-present human misery, Rick manages to remain uninvolved in World War II now raging across Europe and Northern Africa. But all that changes when Ilsa Lund (Bergman--Gaslight, Notorious) walks through the front door of Rick's club. Rick must now choose between a life with the woman he loves and becoming the hero that both she and the world need. This On Screen will show on September 17 at 6:30pm at Historic Asolo Theater.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Let's Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos , September 18 – September 26, 10am-2pm, 11am-3pm, 10am-2pm, 12pm-4pm

Let’s Get Healthy Tampa Bay Wellness Expos, Florida Penguin Production’s annual wellness expo series, is returning to 4 locations this September. (Brandon, Sarasota, Clearwater & Citrus Park) Each “Let’s Get Healthy Wellness Expo” will feature 30-40 wellness related resources & activations catered to patrons of all ages. From Geriatrics to Pediatrics, and holistic to modern, we have it all in one place for Tampa Bay to learn more about all the options available to them. Activities include fitness demos, free health checks, healthy food & drink samples, product sampling stations, a Teddy Bear Giveaway sponsored by Florida Blue, and dozens of vendors on display including many of the top Health Insurance brands, chiropractors, mental health, government services, primary care, fitness, and healthy food and drinks. Sponsored by Florida Blue, Liberty Dental Plans, Life Guard Imaging, and Your CBD Store. September 18th (10am-2pm) at The Mall at University Town Center - 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, September 19th (11am-3pm) at Westfield Brandon Mall - 459 Brandon Town Center Dr, Brandon, September 25th (10am-2pm) at Countryside Mall - 27001 US Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, and September 26th (12pm-4pm) at Citrus Park Mall - Center, 8021 Citrus Park Town, Tampa.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Arts LIVE , September 18, 11am-2pm

St. Armands Circle, in collaboration with the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota, announced on Tuesday, a lineup of nationally acclaimed acts scheduled to perform at the inaugural Sarasota Arts LIVE event on Sept. 18. from 11am to 2pm. The confirmed lineup features notable pillars of the Sarasota arts community, including the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, Chamber Orchestra of Sarasota, Jazz Club of Sarasota, Florida Studio Theatre and national recording artist, The Alan Grant Band. The arts-focused event will pair an extraordinary ensemble of performances with immersive artist pop-ups spread throughout the district’s lush central Circle Park, allowing attendees to jaunt from booth to booth while connecting with local artists, taking in live painting sessions and interactive exhibits.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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